Lucy Boston

Monday, September 22, 2014

ready or not, Autumn! quilts and stew

I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to let Summer go.
The Autumnal equinox is today.
Well, actually tonight, around 10:30 EST.

Crisp, cooler nights,
shorter daylight hours,
comfort food cooking,
and time to get the quilts changed around.
A table quilt that I made a couple of years ago,
with great Civil War reproduction fabrics and muslins -
a great scrap quilt that I love!

I pulled the summer-y table-topper quilts (from every flat available surface in the house), and threw them all in the wash, then hung them out on the porch to dry.  And, I even dusted a little
before throwing the Autumn inspired quilts
onto the tables and stands
where they can be admired for the next couple of months.

I don't have the wall quilts changed out yet, but that will happen sometime this week.  Maybe.  Probably.

And, since the weather has started it's Autumnal change, 
I even made a Stew for dinner.
My favorite Stew recipe came from 
a quilt shop owner/friend (Thanks, Linda!- I miss you guys!) ,
and I like it because it can be made as is, doubled or even tripled EASILY as needed for family gatherings.  It takes just a little (easy) prep time, then slide it into the oven to finish up while you go to church or play outside with the grandchildren.
And, since Autumn has arrived, ready or not,
I thought I'd share my Stew recipe with you...

Oven Beef Stew
3 tablespoons olive oil, heated in dutch oven on stove top
1 1/2 pounds beef cubes - 1 inch, browned in hot oil on stove top
After browned, remove from heat and top with:
1 pound carrots, cleaned and cut into 1 inch chunks
~1 pound new potatoes, cleaned and quartered
half of a large, sweet onion, quartered (or jar of 12-16 small white onions, not pickled)
10 oz. peas, frozen

In skillet, make a sauce - start with:
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 1/2 cups cold water  
Stir over medium heat until thickened and smooth, then add:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bay leaf, whole
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Bring sauce to a boil, then pour over beef and vegetables.**
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one and a half hours.
Makes 6 hearty servings.

(** at this point, you can put it (covered) into the fridge overnight, 
then just pop into the oven the next day - just add an extra 15 minutes baking time.) 

Remove bay leaf and serve with a green salad and some crusty bread or biscuits.
Oven Beef Stew - half gone,
because we ate before I remembered I was going to take a picture!!
My notes:
  • When I make this, I usually double the carrots & peas, and make a double sauce, too.
  • Sometimes I set the oven at 325 degrees & bake for 2 hours, if I need the extra time to play!
  • I use a cast-iron/enameled dutch oven, and this seems to cook a little faster.  If you don't have cast iron, you may have to add 15 minutes baking time to the above times.

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